European Short Course Championships: Day Two Finals, World, Euro Records Fall

DEBRECEN, Hungary, December 14. WITH a pair of world records as well as a European standard in the bag during day one, the European Short Course Championships continued rolling with day two action.

The second night of competition did not disappoint as the total world record tally increased to four with a pair of global standards being set. Meanwhile, two more European standards also went in the ledger.

Women's 800 freestyle
Denmark's Lotte Friis crushed her national record in the women's 800 free when she blazed to a winning time of 8:12.27 in the women's 800 free. The performance cut nearly six seconds from her previous standard of 8:18.01 set in October.

Meanwhile, second-place finisher Erika Villaecija Garcia did the same with her Spanish standard of 8:18.13 set in Berlin in 2005. Today, she threw down a strong effort of 8:12.40.

A third national record fell as well as Italy's Alessia Filippi placed third in 8:12.84 to surpass her previous national standard of 8:16.35 set during the Berlin top of the World Cup last month.

Switzerland's Flavia Rigamonti also lowered her national record with a fourth-place time of 8:12.91. That readout eclipsed the 8:16.16 she'd set way back in 2002.

Click here to view event results PDF file.

Men's 400 IM
The men's longer distance medley proved to be all about one man – Hungary's Laszlo Cseh. After two days, Cseh had added two new world records to his ledger. Yesterday, he took away Thiago Pereira's global standard in the 200 IM. Today, he lowered his own 400 IM record.

Posting splits of 54.93, 1:54.24, 3:02.97 on the way, Cseh became the first sub-4:00 man in the event as his 3:59.33 knocked more than a second off his global standard of 4:00.37 set in Trieste in 2005.

"This was even better then I guessed!" Cseh said after the race. "The reason for this is that my breaststroke was much faster then before. This is the fastest I could do now, but I am sure that this was not my last world record, next time I will swim even faster!"

In other action, Italy's Luca Marin placed second in 4:04.10, while Greece's Ioannis Drymonakos finished third in 4:05.08.

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Women's 200 breaststroke
Russian teenager Yuliya Efimova continued her remarkable breakout season as she knocked more than half-a-second from the European record in the women's 200 breast. The rising star clocked a quick time of 2:19.08 to wipe away Emma Igelstrom's continental standard of 2:19.64 set in Stockholm in 2003.

Meanwhile, Austria's Mirna Jukic finished second in 2:20.92, just missing her own national record of 2:20.28 set in 2003. Additionally, Germany's Anne Poleska rounded out the top three in 2:22.66

Click here to view event results PDF file.

Men's 100 breaststroke
In an event featuring a pair of disqualifications, as the breaststroke continues to garner more and more attention from officials as Beijing approaches, Russia's Grigory Falko and Ukraine's Igor Borysik emerged victories as the pair clocked matching swims of 58.57.

Additionally, Bulgaria's Mike Alexandrov touched in 58.75 to finish third, while European record holder Oleg Lisogor of Ukraine placed fourth in 58.79.

Russia's Dmitry Komornikov and Italy's Alessandro Terrin were both disqualified.

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Women's 100 freestyle
Germany's Britta Steffen and the Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis gave Libby Lenton's world record time of 51.70 a bit of a scare in the women's 100 free, but settled for first and second at the touch.

Steffen clocked a winning time of 52.20, just off her German record time of 51.27. Meanwhile, Veldhuis placed just behind in a second-place 52.30, also a bit off her European record of 51.24.

Sweden's Josefin Lillhage rounded out the podium with a third-place effort of 52.84.

Click here to view event results PDF file.

Women's 100 backstroke
France's Laura Manaudou overcame Croatia's Sanja Jovanovic down the stretch as she had trailed the Croatian, 27.96 to 28.09, at the halfway mark. In the end, Manaudou had too much in the tank as she stopped the clock in 57.34 to claim the European standard. Llona Hlavackova previously owned the continental record with a time of 57.75 set in December of 2001.

Jovanovic, meanwhile, settled for breaking the 58-second barrier for the first time as she lowered her national record of 58.18 with a second-place readout of 57.94. German record holder Janine Pietsch finished just off her record time of 58.02 with a third-place effort of 58.15.

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Men's 100 butterfly
Serbia's Milorad Cavic, who owns the European record with a time of 50.02 from 2003, grabbed victory at the touch with a time of 50.53. He had to beat out Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin, who placed second just behind in 50.59 – off his Russian national record of 50.44 from prelims. Meanwhile, Slovenia's Peter Mankoc took third in 50.62, just off his own national record of 50.60 set during prelims as well.

Click here to view event results PDF file.

Women's 50 butterfly
Sweden's Anna-Karin Kammerling, the world record holder in the event with a time of 25.33 from 2005, held off a pair from the Netherlands to walk away with the European title.

Kammerling dropped the hammer to touch in 25.70, while the Netherlands' Inge Dekker finished just short of the Netherlands' national record time of 25.64 set by Inge De Bruijn in 2000 as Dekker clocked a second-place readout of 25.74. Compatriot Hinkelien Schreuder wound up in third with a quick time of her own in 25.90.

Click here to view event results PDF file.

Men's 50 backstroke
Germany's Thomas Rupprath led his country's 1-2 sweep in the men's sprint back with a strong time of 23.43. While not the caliber of his world-record time of 23.27 set in 2004, it still gave Rupprath the title.

Teammate Helge Meeuw finished in second with a swift time of his own as he touched in 23.59 to give Germany the gold-silver sweep. Meanwhile, Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer Faber lowered his own national record after becoming the first Spaniard under 24 seconds with a national record time 23.82 during semis. This time, he clocked a 23.75 for third place.

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Women's 200 freestyle relay
To cap off the second night of swimming, the Netherlands quartet of Inge Dekker, Hinkelien Schreuder, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Marleen Veldhuis shattered the country's old world record time of 1:36.27 with a winning time of 1:34.82. The event, however, is not recognized by FINA in its record books.

Meanwhile, Germany's team of Britta Steffen, Dorothea Brandt, Petra Dallman and Meike Freitag took second in 1:36.74, while the Swedish foursome of Claire Hedenskog, Anna-Karin Kammerling, Josefin Lillhage and Magdalena Kuras finished third in 1:36.81.

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Top Semifinal Performances
Sweden's Stefan Nystrand took it easy in the men's 100 free semifinal with the top readout of 46.89, more than a second off his world record of 45.83. That time will definitely be his target during finals. Meanwhile, France's Alain Bernard touched in 46.96, while Italy's Filippo Magnini took third in 47.27.

In the women's 100 IM, Poland's Aleksandra Urbanczyk tied with France's Sophie de Ronchi for the top seed with matching 1:00.78s. Urbanczyk's time came extremely close to her national record of 1:00.75 set in 2004, while de Ronchi also fell short of her French record of 1:00.34.

Special thanks to Norbert Agh for contributing to this report.